Stevia Soda Sees Some Improvement with Virgil’s

May 25, 2011
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The problems with stevia-based sodas, aside from most of them tasting like stevia, is that:
1] They tend to be damned pricey; and
2] Not enough companies make them! We need more choice!

Imagine how tickled* I was to find that Virgil’s, a maker of really wonderful sodas–a brand of Reed’s, famous for its Ginger Brews–has a small selection of stevia-sweetened sodas under the “Zero” label. Available flavors are Black Cherry Cream, Real Cola, Cream Soda, and Root Beer.

(*To re-set the stage: “There’s nothing I want to like more than stevia. Saving on calories and avoiding sugar highs and subsequent crashes would be great, especially in lieu of the current mass market substitutes, which threaten [whether conclusively or not] cancerous or other growths and health side effects.”)

I sampled several four-packs’ worth of Virgil’s Zero Cream Soda and, relatively speaking, it was really fantastic, a leg up on every other stevia-based soda I’ve tried. The other flavors were good as well.

The absence of sugar alcohol is a bonus; some people have bad reactions from sugar alcohols. While I’ve not experienced such, I can definitely taste that oddly muted sweetness of the sugar alcohol when it’s present.

The “cream soda” flavor was strong on balance, and only suffered a bit for the less-immediate sweetness of stevia versus sugar/aspartame. I’d say that gulping was delicious, but under the scrutiny of the sip, some of the excellence begins to stumble. A little more bitter, a little more, well, stevia-tasting. But, on balance, Virgil’s Zero Cream Soda is now O.O.’s informal King of Stevia Soda, taking the title from Blue Sky Cherry Vanilla

But this is also an exercise in frustration. Reed, maker of the best ginger beers and such, has neglected to make a stevia version. Perhaps the Virgil’s Zero offerings are a test market of sorts.

And the price is a premium. While it seems you can order in packs of $24 from Reeds for about $27 (about $1.12 each), four packs at the local specialty food stores run $6 and up. Somehow the difference between $1.50 per 12 oz bottle and $1.12 seem like a mile apart.

Still, if you are committed to eliminating potential carcinogen-laden sweeteners, or unrefined sugar, from your diet, you sure can’t do better than paying the price of admission for Virgil’s Zero.

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3 Responses to Stevia Soda Sees Some Improvement with Virgil’s

  1. Emily on May 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Wow – thanks for the great review. We took a long time to perfect our ZERO line and we think it came out pretty tasty. But it’s nice to have an unbiased approval! Email us at estraubel@reedsinc.com and we’ll send you a t-shirt or something if you’d like!

    Cheers – Emily
    Director of PR and Social Media
    Reed’s Inc.

  2. Kathie Kidd on January 2, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Can you tell me where I can purchase Virgil’s Stevia-Sweetened soda in the Kansas City, Missouri metro? I’m on the far-east side of the metro, and only one health food store, which is Nature’s Pantry,carries soda – it’s Blue Sky, and they do not carry any stevia-flavored sodas. I’m sure the shipping charges on a case of soda is extremely expensive, so I am hoping you can help mde out. I will be looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you, Kathie Kidd.
    P.S. All the sugar in my house is gone – it’s been thrown out because it’s one of the worst things I can put in my family’s and my mouth.. Right now we are using honey or coconut oil for sweeting, and I do keep a one-pound jar of Stevia all the time for my cooking; but unfortunately soda doesn’t fall into any of these catagories. Please help if you can!! Thanks again!

  3. Steve Stewart on March 5, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Where can I buy this in Northern Virginia. Is it available on Amazon?

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